2003 Reviews

Max Payne 2

  • Review Date: 2009-02
  • Release Date: 2003-10
  • Developer: Remedy Entertainment
  • Rating: 8.5

I almost felt like I should have replayed Max Payne again prior to playing through Max Payne 2. While the story can easily stand on its own, it would have been good to get an idea of the recurring characters; Max, Mona Sax, Woden. But Max Payne 2 is already a six year old game. Replaying the original would be going back another two years to very dated graphics. Nevertheless, Max Payne 2 is a good looking game. There are no big set-pieces or memorable levels. You may include the Funhouse as a memorable level, as it hasn't been done before in my playing experience. However having to play through the same level on three different occasions gets old very fast.

While there were no set-pieces, the game still looked good with oodles of detail scattered throughout the levels. The entire game takes place in a John Woo style film noir world. It's always dark and raining, the city is run-down. If you love film noir, you'll love Max Payne 2. It's not just the design of the levels but the story is heavily told throughout the game. I haven't seen the Max Payne movie, but I'm sure the story told in this game could be made into a full movie.

Gameplay was good even with just the one difficulty setting. After playing through the first two levels I was soon tired of Max's head always in the view of the target. I just knew throughout the entire game I would grow tired of this, and wished it was first person. So, I did a search. Somebody had created a first person mod, and I restarted the game and played it all in first person view. I think it was more enjoyable actually, as you can aim at enemies much easier. The trade off is your line of vision isn't quite as good.

But even so, the difficulty level was well balanced. The game increases the difficulty depending on how well your playing. The most difficult parts I found were when your having to escort or protect another character in the game. Including playing as the sexy Mona Sax trying to protect Max. However these were equally the more frustrating parts of the game.

Overall May Payne 2 was a great game, with fantastic story telling, good design and fun gameplay. It could have had more spectacular levels, but what was here fit in well with the film noir setting. Also not a long game; I finished it in three long sittings. No more than 10 hours.